Take a Step Back …

Hey everyone, and Happy Halloween! I hope you all enjoy your celebrations and stay safe! I thought that I would write a blog on what to do when your course starts to get a little too much. Being on the Primary Education course, it can get a little overwhelming especially with the different subjects and professional practice. But worry not, I am here to tell you it will all be okay.

First of all, I just want to say that you are not the only one who is feeling overwhelmed about the course. I can assure you now that if you talk to people in your course you will find that many are feeling the same way. I know from experience that talking about your worries with other people from the course really help with the stress as you know that you are not the only one.

My advice to you when you are feeling overwhelmed is to stop. I know this may contradict everything that you have been taught. You might feel you need to keep going with the assignment that you are stuck on but, in my own experience, it is not the best idea. Taking the time to step back and evaluate what it is that you need to can be really important.

When I find myself in this situation I like to take myself away from the work area and go for a walk outside, listening to music or a podcast or go and talk to one of my friends (NOT about work). Separating myself from the stress of the course and the work I have to do for half an hour and not thinking about it can really help go back to work with a fresh mind set. Do not feel as though you have to sit at the desk and tear your hair until you understand, it will not make it better.

I hope that some of you find this useful and are reminded to not put pressure on yourself when you are feeling overwhelmed by your course. Talk to the people around you and your course tutors, they are there to help you succeed! 

Thank you, Lauren.

“The challenge is to stay cool enough to handle the pressure in the moment so that you can succeed in the future.” 

-Jurgen Klopp-

What are Lectures Like in ‘TV and Film Production?’

As some readers may know already; I actually started Edge Hill doing a Media, TV and Film degree but, I managed to switch over to a different degree within the first week as the course didn’t fit me. I’m so glad I decided to do this and its made me a happier student overall but, I wanted to talk about the lectures in TV and Film Production.

Lectures in TV and Film, like most degrees can be very information heavy but the majority of the time it doesn’t feel like this. This is because my lecturers all very knowledgeable and know what they’re talking about and, they give us breaks in-between lectures, especially if its a long one. Currently, my longest day is a Thursday as i’m in from 10-5 but this covers 2 modules: Children’s TV and Advanced Post Production.

The thing that I love about my lectures is that they’re quite relaxed. The lecturers don’t make the information sound patronising but more like we need to know this information if we want to go down this career path. They always make sure we have a little coffee break in-between too so we still engage with the information they give us.

Another thing about Film and TV Production is that if you chose the specific modules, sometimes you’ll just be filming instead of going to a lecture (you need to let your tutor know), or you may find yourself having a lecture or ‘class’ in the Broadcast Studio in Creative Edge. Currently I do Children’s TV and find myself in there a lot of the time to do training and setting up for our group’s own production, but its probably my favourite place as you’re learning but having fun too.

If you have any questions about the course or want to know a bit more, just drop a comment in the box down below.

Ellis x

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How I organise my Pen Drive for Primary Education

Hey everyone, I thought I would talk about how I organise my work on my pen drive particularly for Primary Education as there is a lot of subjects to keep organised. I find that when my pen drive is organised, I feel a lot less stressed because I know where everything is.

When I first started, we were given this pen drive to keep all of our work on. I really recommend using this only for your course work and keeping other projects outside of your course on another pen so as to save confusion.

Like I said before, in the Primary Education course, there are a lot of subjects that we have to study and so that comes with different kinds of work for each subject and then different assignments and reading along with that. It’s so important that you keep these in their own individual folders so that you can find what you are looking for quicker and work that you have done will not get confused with other pieces work.

This how I liked to organise my folder for my first year of the course. As you can see, all the subjects have their own folders so that nothing gets mixed up and within them folders there are more folders that have my assignments in them and that have reading in them.

I know that when I have to look for an assignment I have done that is ready to submit, I can look in its exact folder and know that I have not confused it with another assignment I have done.

It is the same with reading, when I have found a journal article that will help my assignment I will put it in the folder with the rest of the reading I have found for that assignment. This way I will not be spending more time looking for that specific journal article as I know that it is in the subject folder containing the rest of my reading.

I hope that this is helpful for people starting the course and for those applying for the course. Organising your pen drive makes university a lot easier especially when you don’t have to panic over something that you think you have lost but, in reality, you just cannot seem to find it in the pen drive. Trust me, I have been there.

Thank you for reading!

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt-

Room Decoration

Even though its about a month into Uni, you may still think that your room needs a bit more decoration. These are just a few things I have done in my room to make it feel a bit more homely.

I would suggest investing in a few boxes of fairy lights. If you ever have a film night in your room with a few of your mates, it helps set the mood. I bought mine from The Range but, you can buy them from anywhere. Possibly getting some fairy lights with pegs on too so you can hang pictures if you have any to make it more decorative. If you’re not a fan of fairy lights, you could always opt for some LED ones which you can get online from Amazon.

Making your bed the comfiest thing ever at University is a definite must. I remember going into Ikea and getting my duvet as they do a broad range. They also do mattress toppers in there to make your bed extra comfy. If you’re anything like me, I made sure I had a bit of a colour scheme going through my room: from my bed covers to my accessories I had mainly white, grey and light pink colours. I also had pillows which were from The Range.

If you’re looking for posters to decorate your room, the Hub at Edge Hill often holds a poster sale. You can find decent posters ranging from around £2-£5. Failing this, there is a website you can follow: https://www.pyramidinternational.com/ They do specific brands such as Friends, Star Wars, Marvel, Disney etc.

Tapestry is another way to add colour to your room. If you look on Amazon, they have a selection of tapestries to choose from: some are more arty than others.

Obviously I know the majority of you guys reading this blog have probably already figured out your room decor but, these are always some ideas if you’re stuck. I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog.

Ellis x

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“What are the lectures like in Primary Education?”

Hey everyone, as I am well into my second year of Primary Education I thought I would tell you about how the lectures work in this course. My family and friends always ask me this question as they know the primary eduction is a little different to other courses.

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When I first started the Primary Education course last September, I had the idea in my head that all I had was lectures. This idea probably came from watching too many YouTube videos on ‘university day in my life.”

I was really surprised to find out that most of my timetable consists of seminars and classes and only a couple of lectures during the week.

So, here is how lectures in Primary Education work;

APD – Academic Personal Development

This year, we have these lectures on a Monday morning from 9am to 10am which includes the entire course sitting in the one lecture hall. We cover all kinds of topics such as; behaviour, inclusion, academic writing and education theories.

After these lectures, we have a follow on 2 hour seminar in which we all have our own class groups of about 20 or so people. For example, last year I was 1D and this year I am 2D. The APD seminars go into more detail about what was covered in the lecture and this is how it works every week.

Foundation Subject Lectures

The APD lectures are the only lectures we have that are consistently once a week unless it is cancelled. Occasionally, we have foundation subject lectures every couple of weeks. This year, these are on a Friday morning and then followed on with 4 hour foundation classes on one subject. For example, last Friday (11th October) I had religious studies and have already had a class on Physical Education and Languages.

The first foundation lecture that I had was called Policy and the Foundation Subjects which I really enjoyed and found quite interesting. I can also check when my next Foundation subject lecture will be scheduled on the timetable on blackboard!

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And that is how my lectures work for Primary Education! In terms of taking notes during these sessions, I don’t beat myself up too much if I cannot write everything down as I can find the powerpoint on Blackboard after the session or the lectures are recorded and also put on Blackboard.

Thank you for reading!

“A University should be a place of light, of liberty, and of learning.”

Benjamin Disraeli

Creating a Routine for University!

Hey everyone! I have just completed my first week back at Edge Hill University from my three month summer holidays and I thought I would do a post on how to get back to routine after a long break.

I know that Christmas and Easter holidays can be long and returning back to the grind of university can be somewhat daunting but I have found that these tips help me get myself back to routine.


Get Up Early!

I’m not saying that you have to get up at the crack of dawn but, setting your alarm slightly earlier than you normally would and getting your day started earlier can really help to begin your day right. I like getting up earlier because it means I don’t have to rush around in the morning but rather I can take my time and make sure that I have everything prepared for the day ahead.

Make Yourself and Timetable!

Alongside the timetable that I had for university lectures and seminars, I also had my own timetable for everything that I needed to do outside of classes such as; the gym, assignment reading, me time and homework that needs to be completed. This allows me to see when I have free time and what deadlines I have coming up so that I can stick to a regular study routine.

Schedule in Your Breaks

Take this piece of advice from a person who did not schedule in breaks and burnt herself out immediately. Believe me, taking breaks when trying to get back into routine is just as important as scheduling in your working time. If you don’t take time to give yourself a break you will lose the motivation to start any work and continue with the same routine.

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Those are my three quick tips to getting back into routine after coming back from a long break! Also, check out the uniskills website through Edge Hill Student page to get some extra help and support to get you back to routine. I have been to one of the ‘one to one’ appointments at the catalyst which I booked through Uniskills and it really helped get my head around a new routine to help me meet my deadlines for assignments. https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/ls/uni-skills/

Hope you enjoyed and thank you for reading!

My routine is there to serve as the building blocks for a successful day. It’s a tool. I try not to get bogged down if I can’t do it all.” 

Carly Stein

Backpack Essentials

When you start at a new place such as University, you may find it a bit tricky to get a sense of what you actually need during lectures and seminars. So here’s what I have as an everyday essential ready for my lectures.

Laptop

If you haven’t one already, I would highly recommend getting one. If you’re in a lecture and your tutor is going to fast, a laptop is the only way to help you. However, if you can’t afford one, the catalyst also provides laptops but on a borrowing and returning basis. All you have to do is bring your ID card and get one out and return it when you’re done. If you’re needing one for a full week, you can get an emergency laptop which allows you to take it off campus as well. Just go onto the library catalogue to see whether there’s any available.

Notebook and a pen

You’ll find that during your seminars, your notebook will come in handy. Not only that, but if a register is going round, you’ll need a pen to sign your name. More often than not, that pen will actually go round the whole class because no one else has thought of bringing one.

Diary

As you may be doing multiple modules during the semester, having a diary can keep track of all the deadlines and work that needs to be completed. Having it in your bag everyday also makes you use it and its a definite need in my case.

Water

Stay hydrated! Honestly, have a water bottle constantly that you can fill up throughout the day is a good way to keep healthy. Not only this, but it keeps you more awake and focused during lectures and seminars.

Money

Try to make sure you have a bit on money on you. If you get tempted to have a snack during a break from a lecture then get one! Don’t deprive yourself of it as you may need the energy to carry on. For me, I always make sure I have a little bit of money for a coffee (a latte in particular) as this keeps me awake and gets my energy levels back up again.

These are only a few essentials. You may not need all of these but, all of these items are what i have in my bag everyday.

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Ellis x

Budget Tips

Freshers week has come and gone and you might be looking at your bank account and think ‘oh god’. I know the feeling and my friends do too. So here’s a few tips and tricks to try and keep you afloat, at least until the next semester 😉.

Keep track of your money

Try and figure out your weekly budget and then any money you spend during the week, make a note of it. By the end of the week you should be able to total it up and hopefully, you’ll find that you save a little bit of money every week from this.

Overdrafts will be a saviour

Although I don’t have an overdraft myself, i know from my friends at Uni that their overdraft has basically saved them until the next semester. This almost acts as a safety line that if you go into it, it won’t affect your social life. However, try not to go deep into your overdraft as you will have to pay the money back.

Use cash

This is something myself and one of my friends have discovered. Using cash instead of your card makes you know what money you have in your purse. Also, if you’re like me and like to save a little bit of money, get a money jar and any spare change at the end of the week, you can put it in there.

Communal Meals

When I was in halls of residence, my flatmates and I ate some communal meals. This not only helped us all out with a bit of money but, it gave us a chance to sit down together and enjoy each other’s company. I definitely recommend doing this, even if its with your friends that you’ve made.

These are only a few tips on how to budget, but if you have any questions, drop them down below in the comments.

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Ellis x

Tips for writing your personal statement

I can remember, even now, the stress and panic that had built up inside me when writing my personal statement. Being five years out of school, I didn’t remember any of the advice they gave to me, probably because I wasn’t interested in university then and so didn’t exactly listen. I ended up scanning the internet, as I’m sure you’re doing now, looking for tips and tricks, dos and don’ts and basically how to get through it. Everything I read was complicated and wordy so I want to make this short and sweet, but as helpful as possible.

Structure:

My personal statement is sectioned into five paragraphs.

The first is where I briefly told the reader what I am currently doing and I made sure to link this to the course I am interested in and why I am wanting to apply for this particular course. The first line is always the hardest for me, even with assignments now it’s a big hurdle. Some say to start with a quote, others say don’t start with a quote. Personally, I think quotes are cheesy and it’s a waste of your words. Use your words, not somebody else’s. I began, simply, with ‘I am currently…’

In the second paragraph I went into more detail about the job I am doing, the responsibilities I have, the skills I am obtaining and the experiences I am collating. This is where you sell yourself and this is where the hardest part lies as you need to be confident but remain cautious of a boastful tone.

My third paragraph is similar to the second but here I talked about previous experiences/jobs/events/volunteering, anything that makes you stand out and look good. Remember that everything you say must be important and have reason to be there. For example, I discussed my acting experience and I did this because it allowed me to talk about being confident in speaking to crowds, how it enhanced my creativity and how it taught me a lot about teamwork, initiative and inventiveness.

The fourth paragraph is less work and schooling, but more interests and hobbies, but make them meaningful. ‘I like reading’ isn’t going to cut it. I had written about my love of travelling, where I’ve been and where I plan to go next. I talked about my interest in the Endometriosis charity and the Stroke Association and what I have done regarding this. I talked about my love of golf that I share with my father and a tournament we had coming up in Dubai and lastly I mentioned why I had taken several gap years and how this was the best decision for me. This may not be the case for you, but if it was, ensure you make it a positive reason. Keep the whole statement positive.

The final ‘paragraph’ (it’s only four lines) is a summary of what my next steps are and why I chose Edge hill. Try to mention something about the University you are applying for, showing you have researched them – it’s a nice, personal touch.

My biggest tip for you is to read as many personal statements as you can. Read around and you will find structures you like, you will be inspired by what others have included and you will feel more confident when you get around to writing it. It’s tough, but it’s worth it. The best of luck, I’m sure you’ll smash it. Thanks for reading, leave me a comment if you have any questions!

Amy

Your First Assignment!

Hey everyone, welcome back to the blog and for all the first years, I hope you have enjoyed your first at Edge Hill and ready to start your course! When I first started university I was slightly confused as to how I write an academic assignment because of how different they were from my high school.

So here are a few tips from me to you on how to look for support on your first assignment.


Reading is such an important step to writing your first assignment. I know that sometimes you just want to get straight into writing the assignment but it makes the whole process a lot easier when you read, read, read all the information you can on the subject. Make sure you highlight all the quotes that could be useful for supporting any points you make and write down the references.

Support classes are also very useful when writing your first assignment especially when getting used to Harvard Referencing. We had people come in and talk us through how to use and where to find the Harvard Referencing Guide which I found really useful and informative.

When I found that I was having a hard time with one of my assignments, I booked a one to one appointment through Uni Skills. I was able to meet someone and talk to them about what my assignment was about and they give me advice on how they think would be the best way to structure it. I found this really helpful and it gave me the motivation I needed to complete the work. Follow this link! https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/ls/uni-skills/

I hope that this helps someone starting their assignments and good luck in your first year!

“It is nobody’s responsibility but yours to discover your assignment and to execute that very assignment.”

D.S. Mashego